Leaders across the travel industry are becoming more vocal about the development and potential impact of vaccine passports.
In an interview with CNBC this week, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said that he believed that vaccination — and then proof of vaccination — would allow businesses to reopen and the travel industry to begin its post-COVID recovery.
“Vaccination is everything,” Branson said. “Once vulnerable people, in particular, have been vaccinated, I think all kinds of businesses can start opening up again: restaurants, travel companies, cruise companies.”
Branson then went on to speak about how the travel industry could use the vaccination, including the possibility of a vaccine passport, to recover from the COVID slump.
“Hopefully there will be a proof-of-vaccination piece of paper that people can use to be able to get on a plane without having to be tested or without having to quarantine,” Branson said.
Several businesses have already talked about the possibility of vaccine passports in reopening travel around the world.
American Airlines announced that a health passport app will be made available to passengers on Jan. 23. With the app, travelers can upload test results and any documentation required to travel.
However, a seamless vaccine passport might not be reality until 2022. Companies will have to leap over hurdles like communication between countries and potential privacy issues.
CNBC has also reported that tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple are interested in creating a vaccine passport.
Article by Cailey Rizzo published in Travel + Leisure on January 20th